My thoughts today seem to be preoccupied with forgiveness. If it was easy to forgive, we wouldn’t need to be commanded to do so…forgive us, as we forgive.
Mary Magdalene is one of my saint heroes. I thought about her life, public ridicule, possibly even stones held in hand for her. Was she a prostitute? She had seven demons cast out of her. Were some of Jesus’ disciples/followers her accusers? Did they hold rocks, or use and abuse her? What about Matthew? Did he take funds or homes, from some in Jesus’ company? Did he create hardship or hunger for their families? Then there is Paul. He persecuted and killed Christians! Did he take lives of the families, children, friends of those early faithful? How could this early Church, get beyond these offenses against one another? How did they look at those in their company, and not repeatedly feel the sting of their offenses? How did they welcome them into the fold, without vengeance? I can think of no other way, but they had to forgive. If they hadn’t forgiven each other, this poison would have been detrimental to the early church. I’ve heard about, victims forgiving their assailants; families, who forgave those who’ve murdered loved ones; the innocent forgiving their abusers.
There has to be a place in our hearts for the remorseful, the repentant. If we can’t, the words forgive as we forgive, may come back to accuse our very selves.